SAINT LEO, Fla. – After a loss the night before to rival Rollins College, the Saint Leo softball program swept day two of Sunshine State Conference action against the Tars, Saturday afternoon from University Stadium. The Lions defeated the visiting Tars by a score of 4-3 in the first game of the afternoon, just before taking a 5-3 win to take the series. The wins allowed the Lions to remain at the first place standing in the SSC conference.
The defensive highlight of the afternoon was junior pitcher Sarah Steiner, who came in for relief duties during both contests. Collecting two wins and tossing eight and one-thirds innings, Steiner improved her record to 5-1 on the season.
Game one boasted an exciting atmosphere as the Lions took home the first game of the series. Rollins was first on the board, scoring two runs in the top of the first inning off of two Tars' doubles and a single. Rollins then tacked on another run in the top of the second inning on two more Tars' hits.
The Lions were finally able to put some runs on the board in the bottom of the fourth inning, when Saint Leo hitters settled in and got some offense going. After two doubles, two singles, and one walk, the Lions had four runs on the scoreboard that allowed Saint Leo to take home the first win of the series.
The second game of the afternoon featured a similar exciting atmosphere, as both teams fought to take home the series and remain atop the conference standings. This time, it was the Lions who jumped on the scoreboard first, collecting one run in the bottom of the second inning when junior Kylee Hardesty sent a solo homerun over the left-centerfield fence.
The Tars were able to retaliate in the top of the third, thanks to a solo homer from Rollins' Jessica Gipson.
Refusing to accept defeat, the Lions collected two more runs in the bottom of the third, when junior Chelsey Steedley and sophomore Jessica LoBianco were able to capitalize on a Rollins' infield error.
The battle ensued into the fourth, when Rollins collected another solo homerun in the form of Brittany Johnson. With the Lions unable to answer back in the bottom of the third, the Tars then collected another run in the top of the fourth, when Kristie Hoeffer collected an RBI sacrifice flyout to tie the score at 3-3.
In the bottom of the sixth, it was again Saint Leo's Hardesty who came up big, sending a two-run homerun over the leftfield fence for the defining runs of the game.
The Lions return to action on Friday Apr. 12, when they host the Eckerd College Tritons for the last regular season home stand of the year. First pitch is set for 7 p.m.
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